Bellarmine’s Symphonic Band and Chamber Orchestra Winter Concert

By Michael Ahn ’22

On November 29, 2018, Bellarmine and Notre Dame’s Symphonic Band had its annual winter concert. Things were different this year as the Bellarmine Chamber Orchestra (BCO) performed for its first time.

The BCO currently only has eight official members, but many players from the Symphonic Band also performed with the official members of the BCO during its performance. The combined BCO started the event off with a fast-paced piece called Forever Joyful by Brian Balmages. Next, the BCO performed a relatively slow piece called A Soldier’s Hymn written by Soon Hee Newbold. Finishing off, the BCO played a piece called Rhythmic Snapshots of Christmas, which is another piece by Brian Balmages.

Following the BCO, the symphonic band performed as well. Unlike previous concerts though, before playing each piece, two members of the band came up and acted out a short scene that explained in context what the piece would be about. Usually, Mrs. Wyant gives a speech to the audience describing the piece. However, after deciding that entertaining and humorous student-acted speeches were more attractive than typical explanations, she decided to change her approach.

The first piece that the symphonic band performed was Seagate Overture by James Swearingen, which is a piece that depicts the grand ocean. The band then performed Pavanne by Morton Gould, which featured Luke DiMartino ’19 as the trumpet soloist. Next up, the band played Celebration Tribalesque composed by Randall D. Standridge. Following up, the band played Russian Christmas Music a piece by Alfred Reed. Finally, with student guest conductor Tristan Foster, the band performed Jingle Bells Forever, a piece written by Robert W. Smith.

With the BCO’s debut performance as well as the Symphonic Band’s new and entertaining approach to explaining its pieces, the 2018 Winter Concert was a concert to remember.